Secretary Tillerson’s Remarks to U.S. Department of State Employees

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Good morning. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you.

Are we on? Can you all hear me back there in the back? Can you hear me now? (Laughter.) Can you hear me now?


SECRETARY TILLERSON: All right. I told them I have to walk around. My wife has always said if you tied my hands down to my side, I would be a complete mute. (Laughter.) So I’m not great at podiums. I do know how to read a speech, but I thought today we’d just have a chat.

So I’ve been here about three months now, we’ve been working alongside one another, and so I thought it’d be worthwhile to just share a few of my perspectives with you on where I think we are and some things that are coming that I know are of interest to you.

But before I do that, I would be remiss if I did not thank all of those who have stepped into acting roles during these past three months to help me, and starting with acting Deputy Secretary Tom Shannon, who’s just been stellar. (Applause.) But I also want to acknowledge the large number of people who are – stepped into under secretary, assistant secretary roles, director roles, and a number of chief of missions around the world as well. Your willingness to step up and not just fill that role, but to take responsibility for the role and to lead the organization through some pretty challenging first 90 days – it’s not like we haven’t had some things to work on. And so I want to express my appreciation to all of you for helping me and helping my team as we came on board. And I’ve just been really gratified at the work that everyone’s undertaken in that regard.

(Full Remarks and Video here)